Currently playing:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Its Mame-o-licious

My Namco Exceleena Blue cab has gone through several major changes over the years. When I first got it, I completely gutted the insides, replaced the monitor, converting it into a 31khz Dreamcast machine (poor man's Naomi GD system). About a year ago I restored it back to Jamma compatible, and bought an MGCD and JPAC so I could play all three: Jamma, Consoles, and Mame/PC games. I never paid much attention to Mame though, since it didn't match up to the real PCBs I already own, except for the fact that you can practice using savestates. But recently, I started playing more hidden jems that were either hard to track down the PCB, or not worth adding to my already bloated collection. Thats when I decided to get more serious about my mame setup.

So I updated the cab once more, before the last shmupmeet. Its still Jamma compatible (and console compatible via MGCD), but is now running Windows XP with the Mala front end. Mala not only supports vertical displays, but it also has a plug-in architecture allowing other developers to write add-ons, like this cool Serial LED display plug-in. And it just so happens that I had a Beta Brite LED sign that I knew would come in handy some day. :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pink Sweets bug, I mean feature confirmed

Apparently the reason why nobody plays this game in Japan anymore is because of a bug which causes players to get infinite lives when you roll the ship count (at the top of the screen) past 5 extra ships. Cave says they fixed this and are allowing Game Center operators to send in their boards to be serviced
(probably for a nominal fee of $300). Whats makes this worse, is that Arcadia magazine, which records all the top world records for Japanese arcade games, continues to accept scores obtained on PCBs with the bug.

So these strange set of circumstances have led players to stop playing the game, stating its a hallow victory to cheat through to the end, while at the same time giving no motivation to game center operators to upgrade their boards if Arcadia still accepts these bugged scores.

Getting to the actual bug conditions is not an easy matter, even when making some changes to the default settings to allow extends to come quicker. So after much playing this weekend, I finally confirmed my board is the first version with the bug. I guess I'm ok with the bug, as this will open up a new way of playing the game for less skilled players like me. Its still possible to play through to the end without activating the bug, but is something pretty far out of my reach.

* This score obtained by changing default extends to every 1M

[update]Its been confirmed that the infinite lives thing is not a bug, but rather an intended feature by Yagawa. How do we know this? Well apparently Cave reverted this "fix" of infinite lives back to a feature in their latest set of boards updates they are sending out to operators! Unfortunately the damage is done, and the masses have moved on to playing Futari, which is pure Cave mechanics.[/update]